Create memorable experiences by offering gift cards for employees

Explore the variety of gift cards for employees that HR and people ops teams are sending to empower remote workforces while saving time and money.

Gift Cards For Employees

Gift Cards For Employees

Gift cards are a very commonly sent corporate gift. While they’re convenient to send as a gift and require little effort to acquire and send, they can unfortunately come across as generic and less-than-thoughtful. Though gift cards for employees may not be received as the most meaningful gift, they are often a viable option for last-resort gifts. Since they can be sent immediately online and are easy to come by in-person, they’re ideal for last-minute gifting when you don’t have any other immediate options.

Another advantage of gift cards is the flip-side of their generic nature. While they can come across as impersonal, gift cards can be for retailers that offer a wide range of items. Bulk gift cards for employees can also be given to a large group of people, such as an entire team with minimal effort. Gift cards that offer a wide range of options are more likely to be useful for a large group of individuals. Target bulk gift cards, for instance, can be given to an entire team at the last minute, and even recipients who don’t normally shop at Target can most likely find some use for them. Similarly, Costco bulk gift cards can be useful to many people within a group.

As with any type of gift, there are ways to make a gift card seem more personal. For instance, giving carefully selected gift cards to individuals based on their interests—a gift card for movie theaters for a cinema-lover, a gift card for an individual’s favorite pizza chain, a gift card for someone’s favorite restaurant, or a gift card for coffee given to a known coffee enthusiast. 

Best Gift Cards For Employees

Though gift cards can be a convenient way to gift employees, especially in last-minute situations, there are some important considerations to take to make them the best gift possible. Employee recognition gift cards should send a message of recognition and appreciation. Offering employees gift cards that they don’t find useful can send the opposite message. The best gift cards for employees will be gift cards that they can actually use. There are a few different approaches to take in order to ensure that they’re usable.

The simplest way to do so is by selecting open loop gift cards. These are gift cards such as Visa gift cards that can be used for a wide variety of goods and services from many companies. Another way to ensure that gift cards are useful to recipients is through carefully selecting cards based on recipient interests; you can survey employees and ask what types of gift cards they'd like to receive or give them a selection of gift cards to choose from.

Holiday gift cards to large popular retailers might be especially useful around the gifting season, when employees are likely to be holiday shopping for friends and family. The best gift cards for remote employees may be either open loop gift cards, or gift cards to businesses that you know exist locally to them. Stores that aren’t in areas where remote workers live may not be the best option. 

Best eGift Cards For Employees

Digitally redeemable cards are an ideal backup gift since they can be sent in mere moments, nearly anywhere in the world. With many people shopping online now, they can also be quite useful to recipients. E-gifts for employees may not be an ideal first choice for gifting, but they’re an excellent fall-back option since they can be sent so quickly and redeemed hastily. They’re an ideal option as a last minute gift. Corporate gift cards that are redeemable online also make an ideal gift for remote employees if you’re unsure which brick-and-mortars are close to them but want to send them a closed loop gift card.

The best e gift cards for employees, like any other gift cards, will be cards that are useful to individuals. If you’re unsure of a recipient’s interests, it may be worth sending a card that’s either open loop or to a highly popular online retailer, such as Amazon—where nearly anybody can find something appealing. Online gift cards for employees can also be tailored to individuals. Sending an e gift card for a streaming service to a recipient who has mentioned their love of cinema or TV, for instance, can send the message that this isn’t just an e gift card—it’s an e gift card that was picked out with them in mind. 

Gift Card Policy For Employees

It’s always important to consider your gift card policy for employees. It’s also important to consider tax implications and the law. A common question that comes up around corporate gifting is: “Can an employer give an employee a tax-free gift?”

The short answer is: most of the time, no. IRS rules on gift cards to employees are fairly clear-cut. In the United States, the IRS clearly outlines “de minimis fringe benefits—” work-related benefits which are so insignificant that accounting for them would be “unreasonable or impractical.” They also clearly state that “Cash or cash equivalent items provided by the employer are never excludable from income.” So, are Amazon gift cards taxable income? Yes. Gift cards given by employers are taxable, and must be reported.

Aside from ensuring that any gift card sending you do is legal and adheres to company policy, it’s also important to consider your gift card practices. Consider where a gift card will be redeemed when considering the value of the card. While a low-value gift card may be ideal for a cafe, a card for a streaming service for an amount that doesn’t even cover a month of service may be poorly received. 

Amazon Gift Cards For Employees

Amazon is a highly popular online retailer. Amazon gift cards can be redeemed for a wide variety of goods. While as a personal gift, they can come across as impersonal and generic, many organizations have embraced their benefits by using amazon gift cards for employees and customers as incentives for engagement. Used as an incentive to participate in a program, they can be quite effective—offering tangible reciprocal value for needed engagement. This can be for crucial feedback programs and newly introduced company initiatives.

Amazon incentives for employees and customers that encourage engagement with company initiatives, and feedback programs can be quite effective. Some of the benefits of Amazon incentives gift cards include that they appeal to a wide range of individuals due to their versatility, and that it’s easy to send them in bulk. Bulk Amazon gift cards for employees and customers can also be useful whether they have a high or low value, as Amazon has a wide range of goods available at various prices. They’re an ideal option when ordering gift cards in bulk for employees since they appeal to many individuals due to their versatility.  

Gas Gift Cards For Employees

Gas can quickly become a significant expense for employees who commute. To alleviate this burden, many organizations have programs for reimbursement or offer their employees gas gift cards that enable them to commute more easily. There are a variety of approaches employers may take in offering gas gift cards for employees. 

They may opt to provide gas gift cards that work for specific gas stations, such as Mobil gas gift cards, or Shell gas gift cards or Shell gas e gift cards. They also may opt for cards that can be used at a range of filling stations, making them more akin to a universal gas gift card.When looking for gas gift cards, Amazon isn’t necessarily the best place to look with limited options for cards that are only usable for gas, but there are many websites where they can be found. Finding prepaid gas cards online is fairly easy, and they’re widely available from a number of sources. Depending on where a company is located, or where employees are located, it may be important to source gas gift cards that they can use at filling stations along their regular commute. 

Best Holiday Gift Cards For Employees

Around the holidays, gift cards can be an effective gift to give in bulk, especially as a fall back option. The best holiday gift cards for employees will be useful, in line with company gift card policy, and will have values on them that are well suited for where they can be used. It’s important to remember that in most cases, employee gift cards are taxable and must be reported as income. The best gift cards for employee recognition may be for businesses that pertain to the interests of an individual, but when offering an entire team the same gift card, the best option may be bulk Visa cards for employees, or other open loop gift cards that can be redeemed nearly anywhere.

Whatever your gifting strategy is, while gift cards may not be an ideal first-choice gift for creating meaningful experiences, they make a suitable fall-back for last-minute gifts and a simple solution for large-scale attempts at garnering engagement with company initiatives and feedback programs.

If you’ve been looking for ways to make the most of your organization’s gifting efforts, be sure to reach out and request a demo of Postal’s Offline Marketing Engagement platform, where you’ll be able to keep gifting personal, even at a large scale, with access to an expansive market of vendors and curated gift options and robust automation features, all manageable from one central platform.

"Some corporate gifting platforms are insanely expensive. Postal is a no-brainer—it's a fraction of the cost of their competitors, and the customer service is top-notch."
Evoque 4
Alice Stern
Senior Marketing Manager
"There are lots of other fancy gifting platforms out there, but none as easy to use, attentive to customer need, or eager to please as Postal."
Fivetran 3
Casey Patterson
Manager, Account Based Marketing
“I have used a couple of corporate gifting tools and Postal is truly *unmatched*. From the ease of sending to the ease of training new senders, the whole experience is enjoyable."
Brooke Rhoades
Customer Marketing Manager

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